Sensible advice for aches, pains & injuries


Swapping back pain scapegoats 

Paul Ingraham ARCHIVEDMicroblog posts are archived and rarely updated. In contrast, most long-form articles on are updated regularly over the years.

This little article about back pain wisely challenges the fearful assumption that spines are fragile, and that’s great… but unfortunately it just shifts the blame to “weakness” instead. Sure, exercise is pretty good for back pain — that is well established — but probably not because backs are weak.

How about we stop blaming back pain on any tangible property of the spine? Fragility, weakness, posture, degeneration, etc…they all miss the point. Pain (especially chronic pain) is multifactorial and neurological by nature and rarely has a tidy physical explanation or solution. We need to be okay with that.

Personally, I would prefer to have a strong back, because reasons… but “back pain insurance” is far down the list. We can sing the praises of a strong back all we like: the people who have both strong backs and pain are not going to go away, and there’s plenty of them. There is no compelling evidence that weakness is a risk factor for back pain.

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